The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company

Discussion
Ask a question about 'The Walt Disney Company'
Start a new discussion about 'The Walt Disney Company'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia

The Walt Disney Company (commonly referred to as Disney) is the largest media conglomerate
Media conglomerate
A media conglomerate, media group or media institution is a company that owns large numbers of companies in various mass media such as television, radio, publishing, movies, and the Internet...

 in the world in terms of revenue. Founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt
Walt Disney
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

 and Roy
Roy O. Disney
Roy Oliver Disney was, with his younger brother, Walt Disney, the co-founder of what is now The Walt Disney Company.-Early life:...

 Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into live-action film production, television, and travel. Taking on its current name in 1986, The Walt Disney Company expanded its existing operations and also started divisions focused upon theatre, radio, publishing
Publishing
Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public...

, and online media. In addition, it has created new divisions of the company in order to market more mature content than it typically associates with its flagship family-oriented brands.

The company is best known for the products of its film studio, the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, and today one of the largest and best-known studios in Hollywood
Cinema of the United States
The cinema of the United States, also known as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period...

. Disney also owns and operates the ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 broadcast television network; cable television networks such as Disney Channel
Disney Channel
Disney Channel is an American basic cable and satellite television network, owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company. It is under the direction of Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. The channel's headquarters is located on West Alameda Ave. in...

, ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

, and ABC Family
ABC Family
ABC Family, stylized as abc family, is an American television network, owned by ABC Family Worldwide Inc., a subsidiary of the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company...

; publishing
Publishing
Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public...

, merchandising
Merchandising
Merchandising is the methods, practices, and operations used to promote and sustain certain categories of commercial activity. In the broadest sense, merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer...

, and theatre divisions; and owns and licenses 14 theme parks around the world
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the segment of The Walt Disney Company that conceives, builds, and manages the company's theme parks and holiday resorts, as well as a variety of additional family-oriented leisure enterprises...

. The company has been a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Dow Jones Industrial Average
The Dow Jones Industrial Average , also called the Industrial Average, the Dow Jones, the Dow 30, or simply the Dow, is a stock market index, and one of several indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow...

 since May 6, 1991. An early and well-known cartoon creation of the company, Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt Disney Studio. Mickey is an anthropomorphic black mouse and typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves...

, is the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company.

1923–1928: The silent era


In early 1923, Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

 animator Walt Disney created a short film entitled Alice's Wonderland
Alice's Wonderland
Alice's Wonderland is a Walt Disney short silent film, in black and white, produced in Kansas City, Missouri. This short was the first of Walt Disney's famous Alice Comedies and had a working title of Alice in Slumberland...

, which featured child actress Virginia Davis
Virginia Davis
Virginia Davis was an American movie child actor. She was born in Kansas City, Missouri.-Early career:Davis began working for Walt Disney's Kansas City company, Laugh-O-Gram Studio, in the summer of 1924. She was hired to act in a film called Alice's Wonderland, which combined live action with...

 interacting with animated characters. Film distributor Margaret J. Winkler
Margaret J. Winkler
Margaret J. Winkler was one of the key figures in silent animation history, having a crucial role to play in the histories of Max and Dave Fleischer, Pat Sullivan, Otto Messmer, and Walt Disney...

 contacted Disney with plans to distribute a whole series of Alice Comedies
Alice Comedies
The "Alice Comedies" are a series of animated cartoonscreated by Walt Disney in the 1920s, in which a live action little girl named Alice and an animated cat named Julius have adventures in an animated landscape....

based upon Alice's Wonderland. The contract signed, Walt and his brother Roy Disney
Roy O. Disney
Roy Oliver Disney was, with his younger brother, Walt Disney, the co-founder of what is now The Walt Disney Company.-Early life:...

 moved to Los Angeles. On October 16, 1923, they officially set up shop in their uncle Robert Disney's garage, marking the beginning of the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. Within a few months, the company moved into the back of a realty office in downtown Los Angeles, where production continued on the Alice Comedies until 1927. In 1926, the studio moved to a newly constructed studio facility on Hyperion Avenue in the Silver Lake
Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California
Silver Lake is a hilly neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, California east of Hollywood and northwest of Downtown Los Angeles. Silver Lake is inhabited by a wide variety of ethnic and socioeconomic groups, but it is best known as an eclectic gathering of hipsters and the creative class.The...

 district of Los Angeles.

After the demise of the Alice comedies, Disney developed an all-cartoon series starring his first original character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is an anthropomorphic rabbit and animated cartoon character created by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney for films distributed by Universal Pictures in the 1920s and 1930s...

, which was distributed by Winkler Pictures through Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
-1920:* White Youth* The Flaming Disc* Am I Dreaming?* The Dragon's Net* The Adorable Savage* Putting It Over* The Line Runners-1921:* The Fire Eater* A Battle of Wits* Dream Girl* The Millionaire...

. Disney only completed 26 Oswald shorts before losing the contract in February 1928, when Winkler's husband Charles Mintz took over their distribution company. Mintz hired away all of Disney's animators except Ub Iwerks
Ub Iwerks
Ub Iwerks, A.S.C. was a two-time Academy Award winning American animator, cartoonist, character designer, inventor, creator of Mickey Mouse, and special effects technician, who was famous for his work for Walt Disney....

 to start his own animation studio.

1928–1934: Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies



In 1928, to recover from the loss of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks
Ub Iwerks
Ub Iwerks, A.S.C. was a two-time Academy Award winning American animator, cartoonist, character designer, inventor, creator of Mickey Mouse, and special effects technician, who was famous for his work for Walt Disney....

 created Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt Disney Studio. Mickey is an anthropomorphic black mouse and typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves...

. Disney's first sound film Steamboat Willie
Steamboat Willie
Steamboat Willie is a 1928 American animated short film directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. It was produced in black-and-white by The Walt Disney Studio and released by Celebrity Productions. The cartoon is considered the debut of Mickey Mouse, and as his girlfriend Minnie, but the characters...

, a cartoon starring Mickey, was released on November 18, 1928. It was the third Mickey Mouse cartoon, behind Plane Crazy
Plane Crazy
Plane Crazy is an American animated short film directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. The cartoon, produced in 1928 by The Walt Disney Studio, was the first to feature the character Mickey Mouse. It was made as a silent film and given a test screening to a theater audience on May 15, 1928, but...

and The Gallopin' Gaucho
The Gallopin' Gaucho
The Gallopin' Gaucho was the second short film featuring Mickey Mouse to be produced, following Plane Crazy and preceding Steamboat Willie. The Walt Disney Company completed the silent version on August 2, 1928, but failed to distribute it widely...

. It was also the first cartoon to feature synchronized sound
Sound film
A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film. The first known public exhibition of projected sound films took place in Paris in 1900, but decades would pass before sound motion pictures were made commercially...

. Disney used Pat Powers' Cinephone system, created by Powers using Lee De Forest
Lee De Forest
Lee De Forest was an American inventor with over 180 patents to his credit. De Forest invented the Audion, a vacuum tube that takes relatively weak electrical signals and amplifies them. De Forest is one of the fathers of the "electronic age", as the Audion helped to usher in the widespread use...

's Phonofilm
Phonofilm
In 1919, Lee De Forest, inventor of the audion tube, filed his first patent on a sound-on-film process, DeForest Phonofilm, which recorded sound directly onto film as parallel lines. These parallel lines photographically recorded electrical waveforms from a microphone, which were translated back...

 system. Steamboat Willie premiered at B. S. Moss's Colony Theater in New York City, now The Broadway Theatre
The Broadway Theatre
The Broadway Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 1681 Broadway in midtown-Manhattan....

.

Disney continued to produce cartoons with Mickey Mouse and other characters, and began the Silly Symphonies
Silly Symphonies
Silly Symphonies is a series of animated short subjects, 75 in total, produced by Walt Disney Productions from 1929 to 1939, while the studio was still located at Hyperion Avenue in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles...

 series, which was advertised as "Mickey Mouse Presents a Walt Disney Silly Symphony". In 1932, Disney signed an exclusive contract with Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

 (through the end of 1935) to produce cartoons in color, beginning with Flowers and Trees
Flowers and Trees
Flowers and Trees is a 1932 Silly Symphonies cartoon produced by Walt Disney, directed by Burt Gillett, and released to theatres by United Artists on July 30, 1932...

(1932). Disney released cartoons through Powers' Celebrity Pictures (1928–1930), Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production and distribution company. Columbia Pictures now forms part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. It is one of the leading film companies...

 (1930–1932), and United Artists
United Artists
United Artists Corporation is an American film studio. The original studio of that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks....

 (1932–1937). The popularity of the Mickey Mouse series and the Silly Symphony series allowed Disney to plan for his first feature-length animation.

1934–1945: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and World War II



Deciding to push the boundaries of animation even further, Disney began production of his first feature-length animated film in 1934. Taking three years to complete, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 film)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American animated film based on Snow White, a German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. It was the first full-length cel-animated feature in motion picture history, as well as the first animated feature film produced in America, the first produced in full...

, based upon the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale, premiered in December 1937 and became highest-grossing film of that time by 1939. Snow White was released through RKO Radio Pictures, which had assumed distribution of Disney's product in July 1937, after United Artists attempted to attain future television rights to the Disney shorts.

Using the profits from Snow White, Disney financed the construction of a new 51 acres (206,389.9 m²) studio complex in Burbank, California
Burbank, California
Burbank is a city in Los Angeles County in Southern California, United States, north of downtown Los Angeles. The estimated population in 2010 was 103,340....

. The new Walt Disney Studios
Walt Disney Studios (Burbank)
The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, United States, serve as the international headquarters for media conglomerate The Walt Disney Company. The Walt Disney Studio's house offices for each of the company's divisions along with creative spaces designed for movie production. The Walt Disney...

, in which the company is headquartered to this day, was completed and open for business by the end of 1939. The following year, Walt Disney Productions had its initial public offering
Initial public offering
An initial public offering or stock market launch, is the first sale of stock by a private company to the public. It can be used by either small or large companies to raise expansion capital and become publicly traded enterprises...

.

The studio continued releasing animated shorts and features, such as Pinocchio
Pinocchio (1940 film)
Pinocchio is a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and based on the story The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. It is the second film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics, and it was made after the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and was released to theaters by...

(1940), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo
Dumbo
Dumbo is a 1941 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released on October 23, 1941, by RKO Radio Pictures.The fourth film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, Dumbo is based upon the storyline written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl for the prototype of a...

(1941), and Bambi
Bambi
Bambi is a 1942 American animated film directed by David Hand , produced by Walt Disney and based on the book Bambi, A Life in the Woods by Austrian author Felix Salten...

(1942). After World War II began, box-office profits declined. When the United States entered the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

, many of Disney's animators were drafted into the armed forces. The U.S. and Canadian governments commissioned the studio to produce training and propaganda films. By 1942 90% of its 550 employees were working on war-related films. Films such as the feature Victory Through Air Power
Victory Through Air Power
Victory Through Air Power is a 1942 non-fiction book by Alexander P. de Seversky. It was made into a 1943 Walt Disney animated feature film of the same name: Victory Through Air Power.-Theories:...

and the short Education for Death
Education for Death
Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi is an animated short film produced by Walt Disney and released on January 15, 1943 by RKO Radio Pictures. Based on the anti-Nazi propaganda book by Gregor Ziemer, directed by Clyde Geronimi and principally animated by Ward Kimball...

(both 1943) were meant to increase public support for the war effort. Even the studio's characters joined the effort, as Donald Duck appeared in a number of comical propaganda shorts, including the Academy Award-winning Der Fuehrer's Face
Der Fuehrer's Face
Der Fuehrer's Face is a 1943 American animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The cartoon, which features Donald Duck in a nightmare setting working at a factory in Nazi Germany, was made in an effort to sell war bonds and is an example of...

(1943).

1946–1954: Post-war and television


With limited staff and little operating capital during and after the war, Disney's feature films during much of the 1940s were "package films," or collections of shorts, such as The Three Caballeros
The Three Caballeros
The Three Caballeros is a 1944 American animated feature film, produced by Walt Disney and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures. The film premiered in Mexico City on December 21, 1944. It was released in the United States on February 3, 1945...

(1944) and Melody Time
Melody Time
Melody Time is a 1948 animated feature produced by Walt Disney and released to theatres by RKO Radio Pictures on May 27, 1948. Made up of several sequences set to popular music and folk music, the film is, like Make Mine Music before it, the popular music version of Fantasia Melody Time is a 1948...

(1948), which performed poorly at the box-office. At the same time, the studio began producing live-action films and documentaries. Song of the South
Song of the South
Song of the South is a 1946 American musical film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The film is based on the Uncle Remus cycle of stories by Joel Chandler Harris. The live actors provide a sentimental frame story, in which Uncle Remus relates the folk tales of the...

(1946) and So Dear to My Heart
So Dear to My Heart
So Dear to My Heart is a 1948 feature film produced by Walt Disney, released in Chicago on November 29, 1948 and nationwide on January 19, 1949 by RKO Radio Pictures and Buena Vista Distribution. Like 1946's Song of the South, the film combines animation and live action...

(1948) featured animated segments, while the True-Life Adventures series, which included such films as Seal Island
Seal Island (film)
Seal Island is a 1948 short documentary film directed by James Algar. It won an Academy Award in 1949 for Best Short Subject .-Production:...

(1948) and The Vanishing Prairie
The Vanishing Prairie
The Vanishing Prairie was a 1954 documentary film by Walt Disney. The theme music was given a set of lyrics by Hazel "Gil" George. It rechristened as "Pioneer's Prayer" in Westward Ho, the Wagons!, a western film about pioneers on the Oregon Trail....

(1954), were also popular and won numerous awards.

The release of Cinderella
Cinderella (1950 film)
Cinderella is a 1950 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and based on the fairy tale "Cendrillon" by Charles Perrault. Twelfth in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film had a limited release on February 15, 1950 by RKO Radio Pictures. Directing credits go to Clyde Geronimi,...

in 1950 proved that feature-length animation could still succeed in the marketplace. Other releases of the period included Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland (1951 film)
Alice in Wonderland is a 1951 American animated feature produced by Walt Disney and based primarily on Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with a few additional elements from Through the Looking-Glass. Thirteenth in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film was released in New...

(1951) and Peter Pan
Peter Pan (1953 film)
Peter Pan is a 1953 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and based on the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up by J. M. Barrie. It is the fourteenth film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and was originally released on February 5, 1953 by RKO Pictures...

(1953), both in production before the war began, and Disney's first all-live action feature, Treasure Island
Treasure Island (1950 film)
Treasure Island is a 1950 Disney adventure film, adapted from the Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island. It starred Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins, and Robert Newton as Long John Silver...

(1950). Other early all-live-action Disney films included The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men
The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men
The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men is a 1952 live action Disney version of the Robin Hood story in Technicolor which was filmed in Buckinghamshire, England...

(1952),The Sword and the Rose
The Sword and the Rose
The Sword and the Rose, is a United States family and adventure film, produced by Perce Pearce and Walt Disney and directed by Ken Annakin...

(1953), and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954 film)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a 1954 adventure film starring Kirk Douglas as Ned Land, James Mason as Captain Nemo, Paul Lukas as Professor Pierre Aronnax, and Peter Lorre as Conseil. It was the first science fiction film produced by Walt Disney Productions, as well as the only science-fiction...

(1954). Disney ended its distribution contract with RKO in 1953, forming its own distribution arm, Buena Vista Distribution
Buena Vista Distribution
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures is a motion picture and television feature distribution company owned by Disney Enterprises, Inc. Buena Vista International was the international distribution arm, Buena Vista Home Entertainment was the firm's video and DVD distribution arm, and Buena Vista...

.

In December 1950, Walt Disney Productions and The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is an American multinational beverage corporation and manufacturer, retailer and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. The company is best known for its flagship product Coca-Cola, invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia...

 teamed up for Disney's first venture into television, the NBC television network special An Hour in Wonderland. In October 1954, the ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 network launched Disney's first regular television series, Disneyland, which would go on to become one of the longest-running primetime series of all time. Disneyland allowed Disney a platform to introduce new projects and broadcast older ones, and ABC became Disney's partner in the financing and development of Disney's next venture, located in the middle of an orange grove near Anaheim, California
Anaheim, California
Anaheim is a city in Orange County, California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was about 365,463, making it the most populated city in Orange County, the 10th most-populated city in California, and ranked 54th in the United States...

.

1955–1965: Disneyland



In 1954, Walt Disney used his Disneyland series to unveil what would become Disneyland
Disneyland Park (Anaheim)
Disneyland Park is a theme park located in Anaheim, California, owned and operated by the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts division of the Walt Disney Company. Known as Disneyland when it opened on July 18, 1955, and still almost universally referred to by that name, it is the only theme park to be...

, an idea conceived out of a desire for a place where parents and children could both have fun at the same time. On July 18, 1955, Walt Disney opened Disneyland to the general public. On July 17, 1955, Disneyland was previewed with a live television broadcast hosted by Art Linkletter
Art Linkletter
Arthur Gordon "Art" Linkletter was a Canadian-born American radio and television personality. He was the host of House Party, which ran on CBS radio and television for 25 years, and People Are Funny, on NBC radio-TV for 19 years...

 and Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

. After a shaky start, Disneyland continued to grow and attract visitors from across the country and around the world. A major expansion in 1959 included the addition of America's first monorail system
Disneyland Monorail System
The Disneyland Monorail System is an attraction and transportation system at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, USA...

.

For the 1964 New York World's Fair
1964 New York World's Fair
The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair was the third major world's fair to be held in New York City. Hailing itself as a "universal and international" exposition, the fair's theme was "Peace Through Understanding," dedicated to "Man's Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe";...

, Disney prepared four separate attractions for various sponsors, each of which would find its way to Disneyland in one form or another. During this time, Walt Disney was also secretly scouting out new sites for a second Disney theme park. In November 1955, "Disney Planet" was announced, with plans for theme parks, hotels, and even a model city on thousands of acres of land purchased outside of Orlando
Orlando, Florida
Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...

, Florida.

Disney continued to focus its talents on television throughout the 1950s. Its weekday afternoon children's television program
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

 The Mickey Mouse Club, featuring its roster of young "Mouseketeers", premiered in 1955 to great success, as did the Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett (TV miniseries)
Davy Crockett is a five part serial which aired on ABC in one-hour episodes on the Disneyland series. The series stars Fess Parker as real-life frontiersman Davy Crockett and Buddy Ebsen as his fictional best friend, George Russel....

miniseries
Miniseries
A miniseries , in a serial storytelling medium, is a television show production which tells a story in a limited number of episodes. The exact number is open to interpretation; however, they are usually limited to fewer than a whole season. The term "miniseries" is generally a North American term...

, starring Fess Parker
Fess Parker
Fess Elisha Parker, Jr. was an American film and television actor best known for his portrayals of Davy Crockett in the Walt Disney 1955-56 TV mini-series and as TV's Daniel Boone from 1964-70...

 and broadcast on the Disneyland anthology show. Two years later, the Zorro series would prove just as popular, running for two seasons on ABC, as well as separate episodes on the Disneyland series. Despite such success, Walt Disney Productions invested little into television ventures in the 1960s, with the exception of the long-running anthology series, later known as The Wonderful World of Disney.

Disney's film studios stayed busy as well, averaging five or six releases per year during this period. While the production of shorts slowed significantly during the 1950s and 1960s, the studio released a number of popular animated features, like Lady and the Tramp
Lady and the Tramp
Lady and the Tramp is a 1955 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released to theaters on June 22, 1955, by Buena Vista Distribution. The fifteenth animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, it was the first animated feature filmed in the CinemaScope widescreen...

(1955), Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty (1959 film)
Sleeping Beauty is a 1959 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and based on the fairy tale "La Belle au bois dormant" by Charles Perrault...

(1959) and One Hundred and One Dalmatians
One Hundred and One Dalmatians
One Hundred and One Dalmatians, often abbreviated as 101 Dalmatians, is a 1961 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and based on the novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith...

(1961), which introduced a new xerography process to transfer the drawings to animation cels
Cel
A cel, short for celluloid, is a transparent sheet on which objects are drawn or painted for traditional, hand-drawn animation. Actual celluloid was used during the first half of the 20th century, but since it was flammable and dimensionally unstable it was largely replaced by cellulose acetate...

. Disney's live-action releases were spread across a number of genres, including historical fiction (Johnny Tremain
Johnny Tremain (film)
Johnny Tremain is a 1957 film made by Walt Disney Productions, based on the 1944 Newbery Medal-winning children's novel of the same name by Esther Forbes, retelling the story of the years in Boston, Massachusetts prior to the outbreak of the American Revolution. The movie was directed by Robert...

, 1957), adaptations of children's books (Pollyanna
Pollyanna (1960 film)
Pollyanna is a Walt Disney Productions feature film starring child actress Hayley Mills, Jane Wyman, Karl Malden and Richard Egan in a story about a cheerful orphan changing the outlook of a small town. Based upon the novel Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter, the film was written and directed by David...

, 1960) and modern-day comedies (The Shaggy Dog
The Shaggy Dog (1959 film)
The Shaggy Dog is a black and white 1959 Walt Disney film about Wilby Daniels, a teenage boy who is transformed into an Old English Sheepdog by an enchanted ring of the Borgias. The film was based on the story, The Hound of Florence by Felix Salten...

, 1959). Disney's most successful film of the 1960s was a live action/animated musical adaptation of Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins (film)
Mary Poppins is a 1964 musical film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, produced by Walt Disney, and based on the Mary Poppins books series by P. L. Travers with illustrations by Mary Shepard. The film was directed by Robert Stevenson and written by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, with songs by...

, which received five Academy Awards
37th Academy Awards
The 37th Academy Awards honored film achievements of 1964. For the first time, an award was presented in the field of makeup. All four acting awards went to non-American actors, something not repeated until the 80th Academy Awards were awarded for 2007....

, including Best Actress
Academy Award for Best Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
Dame Julia Elizabeth Andrews, DBE is an English film and stage actress, singer, and author. She is the recipient of Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA, People's Choice Award, Theatre World Award, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award honors...

.

1966–1971: The deaths of Walt and Roy Disney and the opening of Walt Disney World


On December 15, 1966, Walt Disney died of lung cancer, and Roy Disney
Roy Disney
Roy Disney may refer to:* Roy O. Disney , Walt Disney's elder brother and the financier of his efforts* Roy E. Disney , his son, director emeritus of The Walt Disney Company...

 took over as chairman, CEO, and president of the company. One of his first acts was to rename Disney World as "Walt Disney World," in honor of his brother and his vision.

In 1967, the last two films Walt actively followed were released: the animated feature The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book (1967 film)
The Jungle Book is a 1967 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. Released on October 18, 1967, it is the 19th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. It was inspired by the stories about the feral child Mowgli from the book of the same name by...

and the musical The Happiest Millionaire
The Happiest Millionaire
The Happiest Millionaire is a 1967 musical film starring Fred MacMurray and based upon the true story of Philadelphia millionaire Anthony J. Drexel Biddle. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Costume Design by Bill Thomas. The musical song score is by Robert and Richard Sherman...

. The studio released a number of comedies in the late 1960s, including The Love Bug
The Love Bug
The Love Bug is the first in a series of comedy films made by Walt Disney Productions that starred an anthropomorphic pearl-white, fabric-sunroofed 1963 Volkswagen racing Beetle named Herbie...

(1968) and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes
The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes
The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes is a Disney film from 1969, starring Alan Hewitt, Kurt Russell, Frank Webb, and Joe Flynn. It is released by Buena Vista Distribution Company....

(1969), which starred another young Disney discovery, Kurt Russell
Kurt Russell
Kurt Vogel Russell is an American television and film actor. His first acting roles were as a child in television series, including a lead role in the Western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters...

. The 1970s opened with the release of Disney's first "post-Walt" animated feature, The Aristocats
The Aristocats
The Aristocats is a 1970 American animated feature produced and released by Walt Disney Productions in 1970 and stars Eva Gabor and Phil Harris, with Roddy Maude-Roxby as Edgar the butler, the villain of the story...

, followed by a return to fantasy musicals in 1971's Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a 1971 musical film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution Company which combines live action and animation and was released in North America on December 13, 1971...

.

On October 1, 1971, Walt Disney World opened to the public, with Roy Disney dedicating the facility in person later that month. Two months later, on December 20, 1971, Roy Disney died of a stroke, leaving the company under control of Donn Tatum
Donn Tatum
Donn Tatum was the first non-Disney family member to be president of Walt Disney Productions. Tatum held senior executive positions with Disney for 25 years and was its chairman from 1971 until 1980. He then served as a director until 1992, when he was named "Director Emeritus"...

, Card Walker
Card Walker
Esmond Cardon Walker , commonly known as E. Cardon Walker or Card Walker, was a top executive at Walt Disney Productions in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. He was born in Rexburg, Idaho.-Early life and career:...

, and Walt's son-in-law Ron Miller
Ron W. Miller
Ronald William "Ron" Miller is a former professional American football player, the son-in-law of Walt Disney, and a former president and CEO of what is now The Walt Disney Company.-Marriage and early career:...

, each trained by Walt and Roy.

1972–1984: Theatrical malaise and new leadership


While Walt Disney Productions continued releasing family-friendly films throughout the 1970s, such as Escape to Witch Mountain
Escape to Witch Mountain (1975 film)
Escape to Witch Mountain is a 1975 film based on the novel Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key. It was produced by Walt Disney Productions, released by Buena Vista Distribution Company and directed by John Hough.- Plot :...

(1975) and Freaky Friday
Freaky Friday (1976 film)
Freaky Friday is a 1976 American comedy film starring Jodie Foster as Annabel Andrews and Barbara Harris as her mother.The film is based on the novel of the same name by Mary Rodgers, in which mother and daughter switch bodies and get a taste of each others' lives. The cause of the switch is left...

(1976), the films did not fare as well at the box office as earlier material. However, the animation studio saw success with Robin Hood
Robin Hood (1973 film)
Robin Hood is an 1973 American animated film produced by the Walt Disney Productions, first released in the United States on November 8, 1973...

(1973), The Rescuers
The Rescuers
The Rescuers is a 1977 American animated feature produced by Walt Disney Productions and first released on June 22, 1977. The 23rd film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film is about the Rescue Aid Society, an international mouse organization headquartered in New York and shadowing...

(1977), and The Fox and the Hound (1981).

Inspired by the popularity of Star Wars
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, originally released as Star Wars, is a 1977 American epic space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films complete the original trilogy, while a prequel trilogy completes the...

, the Disney studio produced the science-fiction adventure The Black Hole
The Black Hole
The Black Hole is a 1979 American science fiction film directed by Gary Nelson for Walt Disney Productions. The film stars Maximilian Schell, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Anthony Perkins, and Ernest Borgnine, while the voices of the main robot characters are provided by Roddy...

in 1979. The Black Hole was one of the first Disney releases to carry a PG rating, the first being Take Down, also released in 1979. In 1980, Disney has joined venture with Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

 on the production of the 1980 film adaptation of Popeye
Popeye (film)
Popeye is a 1980 live-action film adaptation directed by Robert Altman and adapted from E. C. Segar's Thimble Theatre aka Popeye comic strip.Marketed with the tagline, "The sailor man with the spinach can!", the film is a musical...

, which was a critical failure, yet a moderate box office success. Disney joined with Paramount again in the 1981 fantasy epic Dragonslayer
Dragonslayer
Dragonslayer is a 1981 fantasy movie set in a fictional medieval kingdom, following a young wizard who experiences danger and opposition as he attempts to defeat a dragon....

, which was more mature than anything Disney was ever involved with at the time, though it was a box office failure. The releases of these and other PG-rated Disney films such as the boldly innovative Tron
Tron
-Film:*Tron , a franchise that began in 1982 with the Walt Disney Pictures film Tron** Tron , a 1982 science fiction film by Disney, starring Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, Cindy Morgan, Dan Shor and David Warner...

(1982) led Disney CEO Ron Miller to create Touchstone Pictures
Touchstone Pictures
Touchstone Pictures is an American film production label and is one of several film labels of the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group. Established in 1984, its releases typically feature more mature themes and darker tones than those that are released under the Walt Disney Pictures banner.Touchstone...

 as a brand for Disney to release more adult-oriented material. Touchstone's first release was the comedy Splash
Splash (film)
Splash is a 1984 American fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Ron Howard and written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The original music score was composed by Lee Holdridge...

(1984), which was a box office success.

With The Wonderful World of Disney remaining a prime-time staple, Disney returned to television in the 1970s with syndicated programing such as the anthology series The Mouse Factory
The Mouse Factory
The Mouse Factory was a syndicated television series produced by Walt Disney Productions, that ran from 1972 to 1974. It showed clips from various Disney cartoons and movies and showed celebrity guests, including Johnny Brown, Charles Nelson Reilly, JoAnne Worley and many more, visiting the Disney...

and a brief revival of the Mickey Mouse Club. In 1980, Disney launched Walt Disney Home Video to take advantage of the newly-emerging videocassette market. On April 18, 1983, The Disney Channel
Disney Channel
Disney Channel is an American basic cable and satellite television network, owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company. It is under the direction of Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. The channel's headquarters is located on West Alameda Ave. in...

 debuted as a subscription-level channel on cable systems nationwide, featuring its large library of classic films and TV series, along with original programming and family-friendly third-party offerings.

Walt Disney World received much of the company's attention through the 1970s and into the 1980s. In 1978, Disney executives announced plans for the second Walt Disney World theme park, EPCOT Center
Epcot
Epcot is a theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort, located near Orlando, Florida. The park is dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, namely international culture and technological innovation. The second park built at the resort, it opened on October 1, 1982 and was initially named...

, which would open in October 1982. Inspired by Walt Disney's dream of a futuristic model city, EPCOT Center was built as a "permanent World's Fair", complete with exhibits sponsored by major American corporations, as well as pavilions based on the cultures of other nations. In Japan, the Oriental Land Company partnered with Walt Disney Productions to build the first Disney theme park outside of the United States, Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo Disneyland
is a 115 acre theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, near Tokyo. Its main gate is directly adjacent to both Maihama Station and Tokyo Disneyland Station. It was the first Disney park to be built outside of the United States and opened on April 15, 1983...

, which opened in April 1983.

Despite the success of the Disney Channel and its new theme park creations, Walt Disney Productions was financially vulnerable. Its film library was valuable, but offered few current successes, and its leadership team was unable to keep up with other studios, particularly the works of Don Bluth
Don Bluth
Donald Virgil "Don" Bluth is an American animator and independent studio owner. He is best known for his departure from The Walt Disney Company in 1979 and his subsequent directing of animated films such as The Secret of NIMH , An American Tail ,The Land Before Time , and All Dogs Go to Heaven ,...

, who defected from Disney in 1979. In 1984, financier Saul Steinberg
Saul Steinberg (business)
Saul Steinberg is a former financier, insurance executive, and corporate raider. He started a computer leasing company , which he used in an audacious and successful takeover of the much larger Reliance Insurance Company in 1968...

 launched a hostile takeover bid for Walt Disney Productions, with the intent of selling off its various assets. Disney successfully fought off the bid with the help of friendly investors
White knight (business)
In business, a white knight, or "friendly investor," may be a corporation or a person that intends to help another firm. There are many types of white knights...

, and Sid Bass
Sid Bass
Sid Richardson Bass is an American investor and businessman.-Life:He is a graduate of Yale University and Stanford Business School. His father, Perry Richardson Bass , built an oil fortune with uncle, Sid Richardson . Bass took control of the business in 1968. His investments include oil and gas...

 and Roy Disney's son Roy Edward Disney
Roy E. Disney
Roy Edward Disney, KCSG was a longtime senior executive for The Walt Disney Company, which his father Roy Oliver Disney and his uncle Walt Disney founded. At the time of his death he was a shareholder , and served as a consultant for the company and Director Emeritus for the Board of Directors...

 brought in Michael Eisner
Michael Eisner
Michael Dammann Eisner is an American businessman. He was the chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company from 1984 until 2005.-Early life:...

 and Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg is an American film producer and CEO of DreamWorks Animation. He is perhaps most famous for his period as chairman of The Walt Disney Company's film division, and for producing DreamWorks animated films such as Shrek, Antz, The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Chicken...

 from Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

 and Frank Wells from Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 to head up the company.

1984–2004: The Eisner era

See also, 1984–2004 under Timeline of The Walt Disney Company
Timeline of The Walt Disney Company
This is a timeline of The Walt Disney Company, listing notable business events for the organization.-1923–1966:The Walt Disney Company was founded in 1923, and found much success under Walt Disney's leadership through his death in 1966....

.

Since Walt
Walt Disney
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

's death in 1966, The Walt Disney Company had narrowly survived takeover attempts by corporate raiders. Its shareholders Sid Bass
Sid Bass
Sid Richardson Bass is an American investor and businessman.-Life:He is a graduate of Yale University and Stanford Business School. His father, Perry Richardson Bass , built an oil fortune with uncle, Sid Richardson . Bass took control of the business in 1968. His investments include oil and gas...

 and Roy E. Disney
Roy E. Disney
Roy Edward Disney, KCSG was a longtime senior executive for The Walt Disney Company, which his father Roy Oliver Disney and his uncle Walt Disney founded. At the time of his death he was a shareholder , and served as a consultant for the company and Director Emeritus for the Board of Directors...

 brought on Eisner and former Warner Brothers chief Frank Wells to replace Ron W. Miller
Ron W. Miller
Ronald William "Ron" Miller is a former professional American football player, the son-in-law of Walt Disney, and a former president and CEO of what is now The Walt Disney Company.-Marriage and early career:...

 in 1984 and strengthen the company.

During the second half of the 1980s and early 1990s, Disney revitalized. Beginning with Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy-noir film directed by Robert Zemeckis and released by Touchstone Pictures. The film combines live action and animation, and is based on Gary K. Wolf's novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, which depicts a world in which cartoon characters...

(1988), and later, The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid (1989 film)
The Little Mermaid is a 1989 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, the film was originally released to theaters on November 14, 1989 and is the twenty-eighth film in...

(1989), its flagship animation studio enjoyed a series of commercial and critical successes
Disney Renaissance
The Disney Renaissance refers to an era beginning roughly in the late 1980s and ending in the late 1990s, during which Walt Disney Animation Studios returned to making successful animated films mostly based on stories that were known to many, restoring public and critical interest in Disney.The...

. In addition, the company successfully entered the field of television animation with a number of lavishly budgeted and acclaimed series such as Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Duck Tales and Gargoyles
Gargoyles (TV series)
Gargoyles is an American animated series created by Greg Weisman. It was produced by Greg Weisman and Frank Paur and aired from October 24, 1994 to February 15, 1997. Gargoyles is known for its dark tone, complex story arcs and melodrama...

. Disney also broadened its adult offerings in film when then Disney Studio Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg is an American film producer and CEO of DreamWorks Animation. He is perhaps most famous for his period as chairman of The Walt Disney Company's film division, and for producing DreamWorks animated films such as Shrek, Antz, The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Chicken...

 acquired Miramax Films
Miramax Films
Miramax Films is an American entertainment company known for distributing independent and foreign films. For its first 14 years the company was privately owned by its founders, Bob and Harvey Weinstein...

 in 1993. Disney acquired many other media sources during the decade, including a merger with Capital Cities/ABC
Capital Cities Communications
Capital Cities redirects here. For the article about the seat of a government, see Capital .Capital Cities Communications was an American media company best known for its surprise purchase of the much larger American Broadcasting Company in 1985...

 in 1996 which brought broadcast network ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 and its assets, including the ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

 networks, into the Disney fold.

During the early part of the 1990s, Eisner and his partners set out to plan "The Disney Decade" which was to feature new parks around the world, existing park expansions, new films, and new media investments. While some of the proposals did follow through, most did not. These included the Euro Disney Resort (now Disneyland Paris), Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney's Hollywood Studios is a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort. Spanning 135 acres in size, its theme is show business, drawing inspiration from the heyday of Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s...

), Disney's California Adventure Park, Disney-MGM Studios Paris (eventually opened in 2002 as Walt Disney Studios Park
Walt Disney Studios Park
Walt Disney Studios Park is the second theme park to open at Disneyland Paris, owned and operated by Euro Disney S.C.A.. It is located to the west of the hub, next door to Disneyland Park at the heart of the resort in Marne-la-Vallée....

), and various film projects including a Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy-noir film directed by Robert Zemeckis and released by Touchstone Pictures. The film combines live action and animation, and is based on Gary K. Wolf's novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, which depicts a world in which cartoon characters...

franchise.

Wells died in a helicopter crash in 1994 (The Lion King
The Lion King
The Lion King is a 1994 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series...

, which went on to become the most successful hand-drawn animated picture of all time, was dedicated to his memory). Shortly thereafter, Katzenberg resigned and formed Dreamworks SKG with partners Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

 and David Geffen
David Geffen
David Geffen is an American record executive, film producer, theatrical producer and philanthropist. Geffen is noted for creating Asylum Records in 1970, Geffen Records in 1980, and DGC Records in 1990...

 because Eisner would not appoint Katzenberg to Wells' now-available post. Instead, Eisner recruited his friend Michael Ovitz
Michael Ovitz
Michael S. Ovitz is an American talent agent who co-founded Creative Artists Agency in 1975 and served as its chairman until 1995. Ovitz later served as President of the Walt Disney Company from October 1995 to January 1997....

, one of the founders of the Creative Artists Agency, to be President, with minimal involvement from Disney's board of directors (which at the time included Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
Sir Sidney Poitier, KBE is a Bahamian American actor, film director, author, and diplomat.In 1963, Poitier became the first black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Lilies of the Field...

, the CEO of Hilton Hotels Corporation
Hilton Hotels Corporation
Hilton Worldwide is a global hospitality company. It is owned by the Blackstone Group, a private equity firm. As of July 2011 Hilton brands encompass 3,750 hotels with over 600,000 rooms in 84 countries...

 Stephen Bollenbach
Stephen Bollenbach
Stephen F. Bollenbach is the nonexecutive chairman of Los Angeles based KB Homes. and a member of the board of diretors of Time Warner. He is also a director of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., Macy’s, Inc., and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. Previously he was the Co-Chairman and Chief...

, former U.S. Senator George Mitchell
George J. Mitchell
George John Mitchell, Jr., is the former U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace under the Obama administration. A Democrat, Mitchell was a United States Senator who served as the Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995...

, Yale
Yale School of Architecture
The Yale School of Architecture is one of the constituent professional schools of Yale University. It is generally considered to be one of the most prestigious architecture schools in the world.- History :...

 dean Robert A. M. Stern
Robert A. M. Stern
Robert Arthur Morton Stern, usually credited as Robert A. M. Stern, is an American architect and Dean of the Yale University School of Architecture....

, and Eisner's predecessors Raymond Watson
Raymond Watson
Raymond L. Watson was Chairman of Walt Disney Productions from 1983-1984, and served on the Disney Board from 1972 until March 2004. He was the former president of The Irvine Company, and served as chief planner for The Irvine Company during the 60s and 70s....

 and Card Walker). Ovitz lasted only 14 months and left Disney in December 1996 via a "no fault termination" with a severance package
Severance package
A severance package is pay and benefits an employee receives when they leave employment at a company. In addition to the employee's remaining regular pay, it may include some of the following:* An additional payment based on months of service...

 of $38 million in cash and 3 million stock options worth roughly $100 million at the time of Ovitz's departure. The Ovitz episode engendered a long running derivative suit
Derivative suit
A shareholder derivative suit is a lawsuit brought by a shareholder on behalf of a corporation against a third party. Often, the third party is an insider of the corporation, such as an executive officer or director. Shareholder derivative suits are unique because under traditional corporate law,...

, which finally concluded in June 2006, almost 10 years later. Chancellor William B. Chandler, III
William B. Chandler, III
William B. Chandler III is a former judge in the U.S. state of Delaware. He served on the Delaware Court of Chancery with the title of Chancellor....

 of the Delaware Court of Chancery
Delaware Court of Chancery
The Delaware Court of Chancery is a court of equity in the American state of Delaware. It is one of Delaware's three constitutional courts, along with the Supreme Court and Superior Court.-Jurisdiction:...

, despite describing Eisner's behavior as falling "far short of what shareholders expect and demand from those entrusted with a fiduciary position..." found in favor of Eisner and the rest of the Disney board because they hadn't violated the letter of the law (namely, the duty of care
Duty of care
In tort law, a duty of care is a legal obligation imposed on an individual requiring that they adhere to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others. It is the first element that must be established to proceed with an action in negligence. The claimant...

 owed by a corporation's officers and board to its shareholders).

"Save Disney" campaign and Eisner's ouster


In 2003, Roy E. Disney
Roy E. Disney
Roy Edward Disney, KCSG was a longtime senior executive for The Walt Disney Company, which his father Roy Oliver Disney and his uncle Walt Disney founded. At the time of his death he was a shareholder , and served as a consultant for the company and Director Emeritus for the Board of Directors...

, the son of Disney co-founder Roy O. Disney
Roy O. Disney
Roy Oliver Disney was, with his younger brother, Walt Disney, the co-founder of what is now The Walt Disney Company.-Early life:...

 and nephew of Walt Disney
Walt Disney
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

, resigned from his positions as the company's vice chairman and chairman of Walt Disney Feature Animation, accusing Eisner of micromanagement
Micromanagement
In business management, micromanagement is a management style where a manager closely observes or controls the work of her or his subordinates or employees...

, flops with the ABC television network, timidity in the theme park business, turning the Walt Disney Company into a "rapacious, soul-less" company, and refusing to establish a clear succession plan, as well as a string of box-office movie flops starting in the year 2000.

On March 3, 2004, at Disney's annual shareholders' meeting, a surprising and unprecedented 43% of Disney's shareholders, predominantly rallied by former board members Roy Disney and Stanley Gold
Stanley Gold
Stanley Phillip Gold is President and CEO of Shamrock Holdings, Roy E. Disney's private investment company. He was on the Walt Disney Company's board of directors 1984; 1987-2003. He and Roy resigned to publicly campaign to oust then CEO and Chairman of the Board Michael Eisner. He also helped...

, withheld their proxies
Proxy voting
Proxy voting has two forms: delegable voting and delegated voting, which are procedures for the delegation to another member of a voting body of that member's power to vote in his absence, and/or for the selection of additional representatives, as in the case with transitive proxies...

 to re-elect Eisner to the board. Disney's board then gave the chairmanship position to Mitchell. However, the board did not immediately remove Eisner as chief executive.

On March 13, 2005, Eisner announced that he would step down as CEO one year before his contract expired. On September 30, Eisner resigned both as an executive and as a member of the board of directors, and, severing all formal ties with the company, he waived his contractual rights to perks such as the use of a corporate jet and an office at the company's Burbank
Burbank, California
Burbank is a city in Los Angeles County in Southern California, United States, north of downtown Los Angeles. The estimated population in 2010 was 103,340....

 headquarters. Eisner's replacement was his longtime assistant, Robert Iger.

2005–present: The Iger Era



On July 8, 2005, Walt Disney's nephew, Roy E. Disney
Roy E. Disney
Roy Edward Disney, KCSG was a longtime senior executive for The Walt Disney Company, which his father Roy Oliver Disney and his uncle Walt Disney founded. At the time of his death he was a shareholder , and served as a consultant for the company and Director Emeritus for the Board of Directors...

 returned to The Walt Disney Company as a consultant and with the new title of Non Voting Director, Emeritus. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the segment of The Walt Disney Company that conceives, builds, and manages the company's theme parks and holiday resorts, as well as a variety of additional family-oriented leisure enterprises...

 celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland Park on July 17, and opened Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland is located on reclaimed land in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island. It is the first theme park located inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and is owned and managed by the Hong Kong International Theme Parks. The park opened to visitors on 12 September 2005...

 on September 12. Walt Disney Feature Animation
Walt Disney Feature Animation
Walt Disney Animation Studios is an American animation studio headquartered in Burbank, California. The studio, founded in 1923 as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio by brothers Walt and Roy Disney, is the oldest subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 released Chicken Little
Chicken Little (2005 film)
Chicken Little is a 2005 computer-animated science fiction family comedy film loosely based on the fable The Sky Is Falling. It was the 46th animated feature produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation...

, the company's first film using 3-D animation. On October 1, Robert Iger
Robert Iger
Robert A. "Bob" Iger is the president and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company. He was named president of Disney in 2000, and later succeeded Michael Eisner as chief executive in 2005, after a successful effort by Roy E. Disney to shake-up the management of the company...

 replaced Michael Eisner as CEO. Miramax co-founders Bob Weinstein
Bob Weinstein
Robert "Bob" Weinstein is an American film and theatre producer, the founder and head of Dimension Films, former co-chairman of Miramax Films, and current head, with his brother Harvey Weinstein, of The Weinstein Company.-Career:...

 and Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein, CBE is an American film producer and movie studio chairman. He is best known as co-founder of Miramax Films. He and his brother Bob have been co-chairmen of The Weinstein Company, their film production company, since 2005...

 also departed the company to form their own studio. On July 25, 2005, Disney announced that it was closing DisneyToon Studios Australia in October 2006, after 17 years of existence.

Aware that Disney's relationship with Pixar was wearing thin, President and CEO Robert Iger began negotiations with leadership of Pixar Animation Studios, Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
Steven Paul Jobs was an American businessman and inventor widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc...

 and Ed Catmull, regarding possible merger. On January 23, 2006, it was announced that Disney would purchase Pixar in an all-stock transaction worth $7.4 billion. The deal was finalized on May 5; and among noteworthy results was the transition of Pixar's CEO and 50.1% shareholder, Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
Steven Paul Jobs was an American businessman and inventor widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc...

, becoming Disney's largest individual shareholder at 7% and a member of Disney's Board of Directors. Ed Catmull took over as President of Pixar Animation Studios. Former Executive Vice-President of Pixar, John Lasseter
John Lasseter
John Alan Lasseter is an American animator, director and the chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. He is also currently the Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering....

, became Chief Creative Officer
Chief creative officer
A chief creative officer is the highest ranking position of the creative team within a company. This position is responsible for the overall look and feel of all materials, media, and branding associated with the organization...

 of both Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, as well assuming the role of Principal Creative Adviser at Walt Disney Imagineering
Walt Disney Imagineering
Walt Disney Imagineering is the design and development arm of the Walt Disney Company, responsible for the creation and construction of Disney theme parks worldwide...

.

After a long time working in the company as a senior executive and large shareholder, Director Emeritus Roy E. Disney died from stomach cancer on December 16, 2009. At the time of his death, he had roughly 1% of all Disney shares which amounted to 16 million. He is seen to be the last member of the Disney family
Disney family
This page describes the family of Elias Disney , the father of Walter Elias "Walt" Disney.The family name, originally d'Isigny , is of Norman French derivation, coming from the canton of Isigny-sur-Mer. The Disneys, among others, descended from Normans who settled in Normandy around the 11th century...

 to be actively involved in the running of the company and working in the company altogether.

On December 31, 2009, Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC , formerly Marvel Enterprises and Toy Biz, Inc., is an American entertainment company formed from the merger of Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. and Toy Biz, Inc....

, Inc. for $4.24 billion. Disney has stated that their acquisition of the company will not affect Marvel's products, neither will the nature of any Marvel characters be transformed.

In October 2009, Disney Channel president Rich Ross
Rich Ross
Rich Ross is an entertainment executive. He is currently Chairman of Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group.Ross is originally from Eastchester, New York. His first job in the entertainment industry was as a booking agent at Nickelodeon. Later he was a senior vice president at Disney Channel and...

, hired by Iger, replaced Dick Cook
Dick Cook
Richard W. "Dick" Cook is the former Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios. At the time of his separation from the company, he was the only remaining top Disney executive who had worked for the company since before Michael Eisner took charge in 1984...

 as chairman of the company and, in November, began restructuring the company to focus more on family friendly products. Later in January 2010, Disney decided to shut down Miramax after downsizing Touchstone, but one month later, they began selling the Miramax brand and its 700-title film library. On March 12, ImageMovers Digital
ImageMovers Digital
ImageMovers Digital is a digital film studio run by director Robert Zemeckis and originally owned by The Walt Disney Company, later Universal Studios...

, Robert Zemeckis's
Robert Zemeckis
Robert Lee Zemeckis is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Zemeckis first came to public attention in the 1980s as the director of the comedic time-travel Back to the Future film series, as well as the Academy Award-winning live-action/animation epic Who Framed Roger Rabbit ,...

 company which Disney had bought in 2007, was shut down. In April 2010, Lyric Street, Disney's country music label in Nashville, was shut down. In May 2010, the company sold the Power Rangers
Power Rangers
Power Rangers is a long-running American entertainment and merchandising franchise built around a live action children's television series featuring teams of costumed heroes...

 brand, as well as its 700-episode library, back to Haim Saban
Haim Saban
Haim Saban is an Egyptian born Israeli-American television and media proprietor. With an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion, he is ranked by Forbes as the 104th richest person in America.-Biography:...

. In June, the company canceled Jerry Bruckheimer's
Jerry Bruckheimer
Jerome Leon "Jerry" Bruckheimer is an American film and television producer. He has achieved great success in the genres of action, drama, and science fiction. His best known television series are CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Eleventh Hour, Without a Trace, Cold Case, The...

 film project Killing Rommel. In September 2010, Disney Interactive Studios was downsized. In November, two ABC stations were sold.

With the release of Tangled in 2010, Ed Catmull said that the "princess" genre of films was taking a hiatus until "someone has a fresh take on it … but we don't have any other musicals or fairytales lined up." He explained that they were looking to get away from the princess era due to the changes in audience composition and preference. However, in the official Facebook page for Disney, Ed Catmull stated that this was just a rumor.

In April 2011, Disney broke ground on Shanghai Disney Resort. Costing $4.4 billion, the resort is slated to open in 2015. Later, in August 2011, Bob Iger stated on a conference call that after the success of the Pixar
Pixar
Pixar Animation Studios, pronounced , is an American computer animation film studio based in Emeryville, California. The studio has earned 26 Academy Awards, seven Golden Globes, and three Grammy Awards, among many other awards and acknowledgments. Its films have made over $6.3 billion worldwide...

 and Marvel
Marvel Comics
Marvel Worldwide, Inc., commonly referred to as Marvel Comics and formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, is an American company that publishes comic books and related media...

 purchases, he and the Walt Disney Company are looking to "buy either new characters or businesses that are capable of creating great characters and great stories."

Company divisions and subsidiaries



The Walt Disney Company operates as four primary divisions: The Walt Disney Studios or Studio Entertainment, which includes the company's film, recording label, and theatrical divisions; Parks and Resorts, featuring the company's theme parks, cruise line
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line is an American cruise line company owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, a division of The Walt Disney Company and is headquartered in Celebration, Florida. The business is run by President Karl Holz. Disney Cruise Line operates the Disney Cruise Line Terminal,...

, and other travel-related assets; Disney Consumer Products, which produces toys, clothing, and other merchandising based upon Disney-owned properties, and Media Networks, which includes the company's television and Internet operations.

Its main entertainment features and holdings include Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Disney Music Group, Walt Disney Theatrical
Walt Disney Theatrical
Disney Theatrical Group, also known as Disney Theatrical Productions, is the stageplay and musical production arm of The Walt Disney Company...

, Disney-ABC Television Group
Disney-ABC Television Group
Disney-ABC Television Group manages all of The Walt Disney Company's worldwide entertainment and news television properties...

, Radio Disney
Radio Disney
Radio Disney is a radio network based in Burbank, California and headquartered out of the Disney Channel headquarters on West Alameda Ave., from where it has been based since November 2008. Prior to that, the network was based in Dallas, Texas...

, ESPN Inc.
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

, Disney Interactive Media Group
Disney Interactive Media Group
The Disney Interactive Media Group , formerly known as the Walt Disney Internet Group and Disney Interactive Studios, oversees various websites and interactive media owned by The Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries....

, Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products is a division of The Walt Disney Company that engages in merchandizing of the Disney brand and Disney properties, Lines of business under DCP include Disney Fashion & Home, Disney Food, Health and Beauty, Disney Toys & Social Expressions, Disney Publishing Worldwide and...

, Pixar Studios, and Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC , formerly Marvel Enterprises and Toy Biz, Inc., is an American entertainment company formed from the merger of Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. and Toy Biz, Inc....

. Its resorts and diversified holdings include Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the segment of The Walt Disney Company that conceives, builds, and manages the company's theme parks and holiday resorts, as well as a variety of additional family-oriented leisure enterprises...

, Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort
The Disneyland Resort is a recreational resort in Anaheim, California. The resort is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company through its Parks and Resorts division and is home to two theme parks, three hotels and a shopping, dining, and entertainment area known as Downtown Disney.The area now...

, Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort , is the world's most-visited entertaimental resort. Located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida ; approximately southwest of Orlando, Florida, United States, the resort covers an area of and includes four theme parks, two water parks, 23 on-site themed resort hotels Walt...

, Tokyo Disney Resort
Tokyo Disney Resort
is a theme park and vacation resort located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, just east of Tokyo. It is owned and operated by the Oriental Land Company with a license from The Walt Disney Company. The resort opened on April 15, 1983, as a single theme park , but developed into a resort with two theme...

, Disneyland Paris, Euro Disney S.C.A., Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is a resort built by the Government of Hong Kong and The Walt Disney Company in Hong Kong on reclaimed land beside Penny's Bay, at the northeastern tip of Lantau Island, approximately two kilometres from Discovery Bay...

, Disney Vacation Club
Disney Vacation Club
Disney Vacation Club is a vacation timeshare division owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company. It allows buying real estate interest in a DVC resort. Disney Vacation Club's President is Claire Bilby....

 and Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line is an American cruise line company owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, a division of The Walt Disney Company and is headquartered in Celebration, Florida. The business is run by President Karl Holz. Disney Cruise Line operates the Disney Cruise Line Terminal,...

.

Presidents

  • 1923–1966: Walt Disney
    Walt Disney
    Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

  • 1966–1971: Roy O. Disney
    Roy O. Disney
    Roy Oliver Disney was, with his younger brother, Walt Disney, the co-founder of what is now The Walt Disney Company.-Early life:...

  • 1968–1972: Donn Tatum
    Donn Tatum
    Donn Tatum was the first non-Disney family member to be president of Walt Disney Productions. Tatum held senior executive positions with Disney for 25 years and was its chairman from 1971 until 1980. He then served as a director until 1992, when he was named "Director Emeritus"...

  • 1971–1977: Card Walker
    Card Walker
    Esmond Cardon Walker , commonly known as E. Cardon Walker or Card Walker, was a top executive at Walt Disney Productions in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. He was born in Rexburg, Idaho.-Early life and career:...

  • 1980–1984: Ron W. Miller
    Ron W. Miller
    Ronald William "Ron" Miller is a former professional American football player, the son-in-law of Walt Disney, and a former president and CEO of what is now The Walt Disney Company.-Marriage and early career:...

  • 1984–1994: Frank Wells
  • 1995–1997: Michael Ovitz
    Michael Ovitz
    Michael S. Ovitz is an American talent agent who co-founded Creative Artists Agency in 1975 and served as its chairman until 1995. Ovitz later served as President of the Walt Disney Company from October 1995 to January 1997....

  • 2000 – present: Robert Iger

Chief Executive Officers

  • 1929–1971: Roy O. Disney
    Roy O. Disney
    Roy Oliver Disney was, with his younger brother, Walt Disney, the co-founder of what is now The Walt Disney Company.-Early life:...

  • 1971–1976: Donn Tatum
    Donn Tatum
    Donn Tatum was the first non-Disney family member to be president of Walt Disney Productions. Tatum held senior executive positions with Disney for 25 years and was its chairman from 1971 until 1980. He then served as a director until 1992, when he was named "Director Emeritus"...

  • 1976–1983: Card Walker
    Card Walker
    Esmond Cardon Walker , commonly known as E. Cardon Walker or Card Walker, was a top executive at Walt Disney Productions in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. He was born in Rexburg, Idaho.-Early life and career:...

  • 1983–1984: Ron W. Miller
    Ron W. Miller
    Ronald William "Ron" Miller is a former professional American football player, the son-in-law of Walt Disney, and a former president and CEO of what is now The Walt Disney Company.-Marriage and early career:...

  • 1984–2005: Michael Eisner
    Michael Eisner
    Michael Dammann Eisner is an American businessman. He was the chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company from 1984 until 2005.-Early life:...

  • 2005 – present: Robert Iger

Chairmen of the Board


From 1945 to 1960 Walt and Roy Disney shared the role of Chairman of the Board. Walt dropped the Chairman title in 1960 so he could focus more on the creative aspects of the company. Roy O. Disney kept the Chairman and CEO's role.
  • 1945–1960: Walt Disney
    Walt Disney
    Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

  • 1945–1971: Roy O. Disney
    Roy O. Disney
    Roy Oliver Disney was, with his younger brother, Walt Disney, the co-founder of what is now The Walt Disney Company.-Early life:...

     (Co-Chair 1945–1960)
  • 1971–1980: Donn Tatum
    Donn Tatum
    Donn Tatum was the first non-Disney family member to be president of Walt Disney Productions. Tatum held senior executive positions with Disney for 25 years and was its chairman from 1971 until 1980. He then served as a director until 1992, when he was named "Director Emeritus"...

  • 1980–1983: Card Walker
    Card Walker
    Esmond Cardon Walker , commonly known as E. Cardon Walker or Card Walker, was a top executive at Walt Disney Productions in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. He was born in Rexburg, Idaho.-Early life and career:...

  • 1983–1984: Raymond Watson
    Raymond Watson
    Raymond L. Watson was Chairman of Walt Disney Productions from 1983-1984, and served on the Disney Board from 1972 until March 2004. He was the former president of The Irvine Company, and served as chief planner for The Irvine Company during the 60s and 70s....

  • 1984–2004: Michael Eisner
    Michael Eisner
    Michael Dammann Eisner is an American businessman. He was the chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company from 1984 until 2005.-Early life:...

  • 2004–2006: George J. Mitchell
    George J. Mitchell
    George John Mitchell, Jr., is the former U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace under the Obama administration. A Democrat, Mitchell was a United States Senator who served as the Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995...

  • 2007 – present: John E. Pepper, Jr.
    John E. Pepper, Jr.
    John E. Pepper, Jr. serves as chief executive officer of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and chairman of the board of The Walt Disney Company. Previously, he served as vice president of finance and administration at Yale University from January 2004 to December 2005...


Vice Chairman of the Board

  • 1984–2003: Roy E. Disney
    Roy E. Disney
    Roy Edward Disney, KCSG was a longtime senior executive for The Walt Disney Company, which his father Roy Oliver Disney and his uncle Walt Disney founded. At the time of his death he was a shareholder , and served as a consultant for the company and Director Emeritus for the Board of Directors...

  • 1999–2000: Sanford Litvack (Co-Vice Chair)

Chief Operating Officers


Revenues

Annual gross revenues of The Walt Disney Company (in millions USD)
Year Walt Disney Studio EntertainmentAlso named Films Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products is a division of The Walt Disney Company that engages in merchandizing of the Disney brand and Disney properties, Lines of business under DCP include Disney Fashion & Home, Disney Food, Health and Beauty, Disney Toys & Social Expressions, Disney Publishing Worldwide and...

Merged into Creative Content in 1996
Walt Disney
Parks and Resorts
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the segment of The Walt Disney Company that conceives, builds, and manages the company's theme parks and holiday resorts, as well as a variety of additional family-oriented leisure enterprises...

Disney Media NetworksBroadcasting from 1994 to 1996 Walt Disney Internet Group / Disney Interactive Media Group
Disney Interactive Media Group
The Disney Interactive Media Group , formerly known as the Walt Disney Internet Group and Disney Interactive Studios, oversees various websites and interactive media owned by The Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries....

Walt Disney Internet Group, from 1997 to 2000, next merged with Disney Media NetworksDisney Interactive Media Group
Disney Interactive Media Group
The Disney Interactive Media Group , formerly known as the Walt Disney Internet Group and Disney Interactive Studios, oversees various websites and interactive media owned by The Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries....

, starting in 2008 with the merge of WDIG and Disney Interactive Studios
Total
1991 2,593.0 724 2,794.0     6,111
1992 3,115 1,081 3,306     7,502
1993 3,673.4 1,415.1 3,440.7     8,529
1994 4,793 1,798.2 3,463.6 359   10,414
1995 6,001.5 2,150 3,959.8 414   12,525
1996 10,095 4,502 4,142Following the purchase of ABC   18,739
1997 6,981 3,782 5,014 6,522 174 22,473
1998 6,849 3,193 5,532 7,142 260 22,976
1999 6,548 3,030 6,106 7,512 206 23,402
2000 5,994 2,602 6,803 9,615 368 25,402
2001 7,004 2,590 6,009 9,569   25,790
2002 6,465 2,440 6,691 9,733   25,360
2003 7,364 2,344 6,412 10,941   27,061
2004 8,713 2,511 7,750 11,778   30,752
2005 7,587 2,127 9,023 13,207   31,944
2006 7,529 2,193 9,925 14,368   34,285
2007 7,491 2,347 10,626 15,046   35,510
2008 7,348 2,415 11,504 15,857 719 37,843
2009 712
2010 761


Net income

Net income of The Walt Disney Company (in millions USD)
Year Walt Disney Studio EntertainmentAlso named Films Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products is a division of The Walt Disney Company that engages in merchandizing of the Disney brand and Disney properties, Lines of business under DCP include Disney Fashion & Home, Disney Food, Health and Beauty, Disney Toys & Social Expressions, Disney Publishing Worldwide and...

Merged into Creative Content in 1996
Walt Disney
Parks and Resorts
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the segment of The Walt Disney Company that conceives, builds, and manages the company's theme parks and holiday resorts, as well as a variety of additional family-oriented leisure enterprises...

Disney Media NetworksBroadcasting from 1994 to 1996 Walt Disney Internet GroupWalt Disney Internet Group, from 1997 to 2000, next merged with Disney Media Networks / Disney Interactive Media Group
Disney Interactive Media Group
The Disney Interactive Media Group , formerly known as the Walt Disney Internet Group and Disney Interactive Studios, oversees various websites and interactive media owned by The Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries....

Disney Interactive Media Group
Disney Interactive Media Group
The Disney Interactive Media Group , formerly known as the Walt Disney Internet Group and Disney Interactive Studios, oversees various websites and interactive media owned by The Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries....

, merge of WDIG and Disney Interactive Studios
Total
1991 318 229 546     1,094
1992 508 283 644     1,435
1993 622 355 746     1,724
1994 779 425 684 77   1,965
1995 998 510 860 76   2,445
1996 1,598 990 747 −300Not linked to WDIG, Disney reported a $300M loss due to financial modification regarding real estate 3,035
1997 1,079 893 1,136 1,699 −56 4,312
1998 769 801 1,288 1,746 −94 3,231
1999 116 607 1,446 1,611 −93 3,231
2000 110 455 1,620 2,298 −402 4,081
2001 260 401 1,586 1,758   4,214
2002 273 394 1,169 986   2,826
2003 620 384 957 1,213   3,174
2004 662 534 1,123 2 169   4,488
2005 207 543 1,178 3,209   5,137
2006 729 618 1,534 3,610   6,491
2007 1,201 631 1,710 4,285   7,827
2008 1,086 778 1,897 4,942 −258 8,445
2009 −295
2010 −234



Criticism



Some of Disney's animated family films have drawn fire for being accused of having sexual references hidden in them, among them The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid (1989 film)
The Little Mermaid is a 1989 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, the film was originally released to theaters on November 14, 1989 and is the twenty-eighth film in...

(1989), Aladdin (1992), and The Lion King
The Lion King
The Lion King is a 1994 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series...

(1994). Instances of sexual material hidden in some versions of The Rescuers
The Rescuers
The Rescuers is a 1977 American animated feature produced by Walt Disney Productions and first released on June 22, 1977. The 23rd film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film is about the Rescue Aid Society, an international mouse organization headquartered in New York and shadowing...

(1977) and Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy-noir film directed by Robert Zemeckis and released by Touchstone Pictures. The film combines live action and animation, and is based on Gary K. Wolf's novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, which depicts a world in which cartoon characters...

(1988) resulted in recalls and modifications of the films to remove such content.

Some religious welfare groups, such as the Catholic League
Catholic League (U.S.)
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, often shortened to the Catholic League, is an American Catholic anti-defamation and civil rights organization...

, have opposed films including Priest (1994) and Dogma
Dogma (film)
Dogma is a 1999 American adventure fantasy comedy film written and directed by Kevin Smith, who also stars in the film along with an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Bud Cort, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Jason Lee, George Carlin, Janeane Garofalo,...

(1999). A book called Growing Up Gay, published by Disney-owned Hyperion Press
Hyperion (publisher)
Hyperion Books is a general-interest book publishing part of the Disney-ABC Television Group, a division of The Walt Disney Company, established in 1991. Hyperion publishes general-interest fiction and non-fiction books for adults under the following imprints: ABC Daytime Press, ESPN Books,...

 and similar publications, as well as the company's extension of benefits to same-sex
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

 domestic partners, spurred boycott
Boycott
A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons...

s of Disney and its advertisers by the Catholic League, the Assemblies of God USA, the American Family Association
American Family Association
The American Family Association is a 501 non-profit organization that promotes conservative Christian values, such as opposition to same-sex marriage, pornography, and abortion, as well as other public policy goals such as deregulation of the oil industry and lobbying against the Employee Free...

, and other conservative groups. The boycotts were discontinued by most of these organizations by 2005. In addition to these social controversies, the company has been accused of human rights violations regarding the working conditions in factories that produce their merchandise.

Corporate social responsibility


Many animation studios are currently setting up arms for conducting activities related to Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model...

. Though many studios are still yet to have fully functional wings for these programs, the Walt Disney Company has already set up many programs in order to cement its image as an entity that is socially responsible.

Among the many programs initiated by Disney are the annual Enviroports (i.e. environmental report) that Disney now publishes yearly to keep its shareholders in touch with exactly how it attempts to optimize the company's operational impact on environmental issues such as reduction of waste, fossil-fuel use, and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as improved eco-system protection. This has led to appreciation by many third parties such as the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and Reputation Institute, which ranks Disney 2nd in a Corporate Social Responsibility Index, with a score of 81.33, devised in 2010. The report also establishes that Disney has improved its performance year-on-year and is second on two out of the three categories listed for measurement.

See also


  • Walt Disney
    Walt Disney
    Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

  • A Trip Through the Walt Disney Studios
    A Trip Through the Walt Disney Studios
    A Trip Through the Walt Disney Studios was a documentary made in response to requests from members of RKO Radio Pictures for a behind the scenes look at Walt Disney Studios. The film was never intended for public showing; it was only shown to executives at RKO...

  • Disney animated feature film source material
  • Disney Channel
    Disney Channel
    Disney Channel is an American basic cable and satellite television network, owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company. It is under the direction of Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. The channel's headquarters is located on West Alameda Ave. in...

  • Disney Junior
    Disney Junior
    Disney Junior is a current program block on Disney Channel and an upcoming American basic cable and satellite television network intended to replace SOAPnet in February 2012. It began airing on February 14, 2011, replacing Playhouse Disney....

  • Disney University
    Disney University
    Disney University is the global entity under which Disney Cast Members receive a range of opportunities including Disney heritage and traditions, personal and professional development, and on the job training. Although Disney University is not an accredited institution, courses are primarily...

  • Disney XD
    Disney XD
    Disney XD is a brand of children's TV channels worldwide targeting young males, owned by The Walt Disney Company. The channel was formerly known as Toon Disney and/or Jetix in most areas. According to Gary Marsh, President of Entertainment for Disney Channel Worldwide, "XD" does not "stand for...

  • Disneyfication
    Disneyfication
    Disneyfication is a term which describes the transformation of something, usually society at large, to resemble The Walt Disney Company's theme parks. The latter term appears in Sharon Zukin's book, The Cultures of Cities , and was popularized by Alan Bryman in a 2004 book, The Disneyization of...

  • Disneynature
    Disneynature
    Disneynature is an independent film label of The Walt Disney Company, founded on April 21, 2008 as a division of the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group...

  • List of Walt Disney TV series
  • List of assets owned by Disney
  • List of Disney animated characters
  • List of Disney animated shorts
  • List of Disney theatrical animated features
  • List of Disney theatrical feature films
  • List of Disney home entertainment
  • List of Disney live-action shorts
  • List of Disney video games by genre
  • Children's television series
    Children's television series
    Children's television series, are commercial television programs designed for, and marketed to children, normally scheduled for broadcast during the morning and afternoon when children are awake. They can sometimes run in the early evening, for the children that go to school...

  • Second screen
    Second screen
    Second Screen is a new expression which describes, in the broadcasting industry, the use of a smartphone, tablet computer or computer that audiences use while watching television.- Multi-tasking :...

     apps from Disney

Further reading

  • Building a Company: Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire, Bob Thomas, 1998
  • Building a Dream; The Art of Disney Architecture, Beth Dunlop, 1996, ISBN 0-8109-3142-7
  • Cult of the Mouse: Can We Stop Corporate Greed from Killing Innovation in America?, Henry M. Caroselli, 2004, Ten Speed Press
  • Disney: The Mouse Betrayed, Peter Schweizer
  • The Disney Touch: How a Daring Management Team Revived an Entertainment Empire, by Ron Grover (Richard D. Irwin, Inc., 1991), ISBN 1-55623-385-X
  • The Disney Version: The Life, Times, Art and Commerce of Walt Disney, Richard Schickel, 1968, revised 1997
  • Disneyana: Walt Disney Collectibles, Cecil Munsey, 1974
  • Disneyization of Society: Alan Bryman
    Alan Bryman
    Alan Bryman is currently Professor of Organisational and Social Research at the University of Leicester, prior to this Bryman spent 31 years at Loughborough University. He is best known for three main areas of work...

    , 2004
  • DisneyWar
    DisneyWar
    DisneyWar is an exposé of Michael Eisner's 20-year tenure as Chairman and CEO at The Walt Disney Company by James B. Stewart. The book chronicles the careers and interactions of executives at Disney, including Card Walker, Ron W. Miller, Roy E...

    , James B. Stewart
    James B. Stewart
    James Bennett Stewart is an American lawyer, journalist, and author.-Life and career:Stewart was born in Quincy, Illinois. A graduate of DePauw University and Harvard Law School, James B. Stewart is a member of the Bar of New York and Bloomberg Professor of Business and Economic Journalism at the...

    , Simon & Schuster
    Simon & Schuster
    Simon & Schuster, Inc., a division of CBS Corporation, is a publisher founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster. It is one of the four largest English-language publishers, alongside Random House, Penguin and HarperCollins...

    , 2005, ISBN 0-684-80993-1
  • Donald Duck Joins Up; the Walt Disney Studio During World War II, Richard Shale, 1982
  • How to Read Donald Duck
    How to Read Donald Duck
    How to Read Donald Duck is a political analysis by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart, published in Chile in 1972. It is a pioneering work on cultural imperialism...

    : Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic
    ISBN 0-88477-023-0 (Marxist Critique) Ariel Dorfman
    Ariel Dorfman
    Vladimiro Ariel Dorfman is an Argentine-Chilean novelist, playwright, essayist, academic, and human rights activist. A citizen of the United States since 2004, he has been a professor of literature and Latin American Studies at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina since 1985.-Personal...

    , Armand Mattelart
    Armand Mattelart
    Armand Mattelart is a Belgian sociologist and well known as a Leftist French scholar. His work deals with media, culture and communication, specially in their historical and international dimensions....

    , David Kunzle (translator).
  • Inside the Dream: The Personal Story of Walt Disney, Katherine Greene & Richard Greene, 2001
  • The Keys to the Kingdom: How Michael Eisner Lost His Grip, Kim Masters (Morrow, 2000)
  • The Man Behind the Magic; the Story of Walt Disney, Katherine & Richard Greene, 1991, revised 1998, ISBN 0-7868-5350-6
  • Married to the Mouse, Richard E. Foglesorg, Yale University Press
    Yale University Press
    Yale University Press is a book publisher founded in 1908 by George Parmly Day. It became an official department of Yale University in 1961, but remains financially and operationally autonomous....

    .
  • Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland, David Koenig, 1994, revised 2005, ISBN 0-9640605-4-X
  • Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records, Tim Hollis and Greg Ehrbar, 2006, ISBN 1-57806-849-5
  • Storming the Magic Kingdom: Wall Street, the raiders, and the battle for Disney, John Taylor, 1987 New York Times
  • The Story of Walt Disney, Diane Disney Miller & Pete Martin, 1957
  • Team Rodent
    Team Rodent
    Team Rodent is a non-fiction book written by Carl Hiaasen about the Walt Disney Company and its stance towards the outside world. The book's primary focus is on non-film related Disney enterprises such as Disney World and their effects on the environment and local culture.-See also:*The Walt Disney...

    ,
    Carl Hiassen.
  • Walt Disney: An American Original, Bob Thomas, 1976, revised 1994, ISBN 0671223321
  • Work in Progress by Michael Eisner
    Michael Eisner
    Michael Dammann Eisner is an American businessman. He was the chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company from 1984 until 2005.-Early life:...

    with Tony Schwartz (Random House, 1998), ISBN 978-0375500718

External links